The Gut-Brain Connection
The brain connection is an important piece to the puzzle. There is a direct connection between the brain and the gut and they DO send messages to each other. If your gut is upset, you are mentally also upset. If you are mentally upset then the gut can give you physical discomfort. The nerves that bind the brain with the gut help us to ‘feel’ our inner body whether that be joyful or sad emotions. It is therefore essential to understand that we are also feeding our mind, and bad eating habits therefore can lead to lack of focus, nervousness and even depression.
Neurons in the Intestine
The intestine, also known as our second brain, is embedded with about 100 million important neurotransmitters that are not only responsible for digestion but have a direct connection with the brain.
Morphine peptides & Peptide hormones
If there is a deficiency in digestion enzymes in the intestine, this will result in incomplete digestion of food. If the proteins we ingest are not broken down into amino acids, but rather stay in peptide form, and enter the bloodstream in this form, they will inevitably cause an immune reaction.
Some of these peptides mimic peptide hormones such as Insulin, Adrenaline, and Thyroid hormones. Most of the research however has been done on peptides from milk and wheat which cause a morphine-like reaction. I generally recommend people who suffers with mental issues and digestive problems to test for food intolerances particularly to dairy and gluten.
Serotonin is a chemical produced from the amino acid tryptophan. Deficiencies of this substance can result in poor sleep and/or mood swings/depression, increased appetite and a reduction in libido. Most of the serotonin in the body is produced and found in the intestine. If the digestion is not functioning properly then proteins are not broken down and tryptophan remains as a peptide, and therefore is not available to create serotonin.